Category Archives: Entertainment

Jemele Hill Suspended for Cowboys Boycott Tweet

By MCNS Staff

Jemele Hill

Jemele Hill

ESPN has suspended Sportscenter host Jemele Hill for what they say is the second break with company social media policy in the past few weeks.

The suspension was a reaction to critical tweets from Hill about Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones’s announcement that any player that did not stand during the national anthem would be benched.

“Jerry Jones also has created a problem for his players, specifically the black ones. If they don’t kneel, some will see them as sellouts,” she stated, among a stream of tweets.

In a second tweet, Hill wrote, “If you strongly reject what Jerry Jones said, the key is his advertisers. Don’t place the burden squarely on the players.”

“This play always work. Change happens when advertisers are impacted. If you feel strongly about JJ’s statement, boycott his advertisers,” Hill specifes.

ESPN found the online comments in violation of their social media guidelines. A statement from the network reads, “Jemele Hill has been suspended for two weeks for a second violation of our social media guidelines. She previously acknowledged letting her colleagues and company down with an impulsive tweet. In the aftermath, all employees were reminded of how individual tweets may reflect negatively on ESPN and that such actions would have consequences. Hence this decision.”

Hill, 41, is the co-host of “Sportscenter” with Michael Smith. According to national reports, Smith declined to host the first 6pm edition of Sportscenter without his co-host and Matt Barrie filled in. The Washington Post states Smith returned to the show Tuesday and is expected to host SC6 by himself for the next two weeks until Hill returns.

The president took time out of his schedule to tweet on Hill, saying “With Jemele Hill at the mike, it is no wonder ESPN ratings have ‘tanked,’ in fact, tanked so badly it is the talk of the industry!” But, his attention may not be only due to the suspension. In September, she drew ire with network executives and others when she tweeted that President Trump was a “white supremacist.” Following the tweet, Hill apologized for having “painted ESPN in an unfair light.”

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NBA Says Players Must Stand for Anthem

In a show of extreme courage, LA Sparks players walked off the court during the US anthem, prompting questions of what NBA players will do.

In a show of extreme courage, LA Sparks players walked off the court during the US anthem, prompting questions of what NBA players will do.

By MCNS Staff

An NBA memo sent to teams last Friday states that players and coaches are expected to stand for the national anthem before games, according to the Associated Press. The memo comes one day after Commissioner Adam Silver stated at the Board of Governors news conference that he expects players to stand for the national anthem.

The memo, distributed by Deputy Commissioner Mark Tatum, suggests teams might address the current political climate by having players and coaches give a joint pregame address at their first home games, according to ESPN.

“This could include a message of unity and how the team is committed to bringing the community together this season,” the memo states.

The memo also suggests that teams can prepare a video tribute or public service announcement featuring “team leadership speaking about the issues they care about,” according to ESPN. Tatum also suggested that teams use their opening games “to demonstrate your commitment to the NBA’s core values of equality, diversity, inclusion and serve as a unifying force in the community.”

Also, according to ESPN, the memo states that “the league office will determine how to deal with any possible instance in which a player, coach, or trainer does not stand for the anthem.”

The memo also states that individual teams “do not have the discretion to waive” a rule that players, coaches and staff are required to stand for the anthem. The league has the discretion to discipline players who violate the rule.

However, it is not clear if the league would exercise it, nor what the penalty itself would be. Therefore, it will be interesting to note how a league that is comprised of 82% Black men will meet the challenge of addressing the issue of the murder of Black people and people of color at the hands of the police. This is especially the case if they take a cue from the WNBA’s LA Sparks, who went to their locker room for the national anthem in the WNBA Finals.

The memo comes as tensions rise around NFL kneeling protests initiated by former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick during last year’s season in opposition to institutional racism and racist police practices. He has not been signed with a team this season and is believed to be ostracized by teams. After criticism of the protests from President Trump two weeks ago, whole teams and even some coaches and owners are participating in kneeling protests, drawing equal parts support and ire from football fans, often along racial lines.

Boycott Drops NFL Ratings

By MCNS Staff

Boycotts stemming from among other things Colin Kaepernck's blackballing have caused NFL ratings to drop.

Boycotts stemming from among other things Colin Kaepernck’s blackballing have caused NFL ratings to drop.

Ratings for the first week of the NFL season were down 13 percent from a season ago, according to Nielsen.

Last Thursday night’s season kickoff between the Kansas City Chiefs and the New England Patriots had an audience of 21.8 million, according to Nielsen, while the last year’s season opener had 25.2 million viewers.

Multiple factors may be attributed to this decline, but in a story by Sports Illustrated Magazine’s Richard Deitsch, CBS Sports Chairman Sean McManus admitted that a boycott of NFL football was a major factor in the lower ratings. Many viewers are boycotting the NFL in support of Colin Kaepernick due to his treatment by the league. Up to this point, no NFL team has signed him after he voided the final year of his contract with the San Francisco 49ers early in the off-season.

Supporters of Kaepernick believe he is being isolated for kneeling in silent protest during the US national anthems before games during the last NFL season. He was protesting American systems that he believes, among other injustices, protect police officers with non-indictment not guilty verdicts for killing unarmed Black people around the country.

Some Kaepernick critics feel he is to blame for his unemployment because he voided his contract. However many sources inside the 49ers admitted that if he hadn’t, he certainly would have been released by the team. By ending his contract when he did, he provided himself with the best opportunity to participate in a full off-season with a new team instead of being released at the will of the 49ers.

Many boycotters feel Kaepernick is productive enough to earn a contract as a backup quarterback, if not an outright starter, when quarterbacks with lower stats have secured positions for this season.

Sloane Stephens Wins First US Open

By MCNS Staff

US Open champion, Sloane Stephens

US Open champion, Sloane Stephens

On Saturday, African-American tennis player Sloane Stephens won the US Open grand slam against No. 15 seed and fellow African-American Madison Keys at Arthur Ashe Stadium in Flushing, New York.

Two African-Americans have not played in the US Open final since 2002, when Serena Williams played Venus Williams. This was also only the seventh time in the Open Era and the second time at the US Open that two first-time finalists have faced off in a grand slam final.

Miss Stephens is the first African-American woman and the first US tennis player other than the Williams sisters to win a grand slam title in 15 years.

Sloane Stephens, 24, unseeded and ranked 83rd in the world, is only the third player outside of the top 10 to win the US Open since computer rankings began in 1975. Stephens was previously sidelined for 11 months after experiencing a foot injury and subsequent surgery this past January. She then made a comeback at Wimbledon and entered this summer’s US Open Series ranked 957th.

Miss Stephens is now projected to rise to No. 17 and the purse for the US Open win is $3.7 million. Madison Keys is projected to move up to No. 12 as a result of reaching the finals.